Nowadays, video game companies have created several avenues to encourage players to make more purchases. DLC expansions, cosmetic items, new characters, and Loot boxes are just some optional ways players spend more money on their games. Unlike before where a game is released and included everything a player expected in one package, network connectivity and faster internet speeds have given developers new ways to sell and deliver content. Meanwhile, Activision reportedly filed for a patent that tweaks multiplayer matchmaking and allegedly encourages players to make purchases.

Activision and matchmaking patent

Activision filed their patent back in 2015 but was just recently approved, according to Glixel. A brief explanation of their new algorithm claims that it profiles each player and their in-game actions. The system will actively match their multiplayer games with other gamers who purchased certain items. Their program will hopefully encourage the player to also purchase the same items after seeing them in action. For example, the game involved is a first-person shooter and the target user’s profile indicates that they “wish to become an expert sniper in a game.” The new system will locate another veteran sniper and match their game. Therefore, the newbie will hopefully see some purchased items used by the skilled user and make the same transactions.

It might be too obvious

The example given by the publisher seems might not be exactly how the updated matchmaking system will work. After all, once a player begins to notice that each one of their matches always showcases an item that they wanted, it will become apparent what the game intends to happen. One theory suggests that users might see different loot box content during a match, which is more subtle and might encourage people to purchase a particular item they want.

Current system applied

For most players, the ideal matchmaking algorithm should match players of equal skill so that gameplay is balanced. Gamers feel that Activision’s plans could cause problems with high-level matches. However, it seems the publisher prefers to prioritize profit over player enjoyment. One of the publisher’s biggest games has recently been suspected of using the new system.

Bungie has officially confirmed that “Destiny 2” does not support the recently approved algorithm patent for multiplayer games. It seems that the gaming community will most likely rebel against this new practice, just like their recent complaint against the influx of loot boxes in almost every game coming out this fall. Sadly the ESRB could not accommodate their requests to label the reward system as gambling.